Former Metroparks Chief Arrested for Public Indecency in the Metroparks


You'd think the former head of the Metroparks, a man surely familiar with some of the seedier activities that go on beneath the blossoms and trees, a man undoubtedly aware that the Metroparks and police run stings to catch individuals involved in those seedy activities, would not go to the Metroparks and indulge in those seedy activities.

You'd be wrong.

64-year-old Vern Hartenburg, who ran the Metroparks for more than two decades, was arrested in an undercover sting operation this weekend by rangers. Five other men were nabbed in the sting.

Hartenburg allegedly flashed his twig and Buckeye nuts to a male ranger after the ranger briefly chatted with Hartenburg and approached his car. The practice of flashing your junk to a stranger while generally frowned upon also happens to be illegal. What he was looking for exactly, while one could certainly fathom a reasonable guess, isn't yet nailed down. According to the PD, the parks run about 25 such operations each year.

The former Metroparks chief, in a stroke (yes, that was intentional) of awkward irony, was arrested in the same Memphis Picnic Area of the Big Creek reservation where Olmsted Township Police Chief Charles McNeely was cuffed for a similar junk-flashing incident just two years ago.

Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.

About The Author

Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.